Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Round Up: More Edition...

No time for intros...going down to RFK for the rubber match of the first series between the O's and the Nats. Two sub-.500 teams facing off in May: Catch the Head Cold!

More on the Town Center Tower: Two and a half paragraphs worthy of highlighting from the story. First:

...[T]he thrust of his case dates back four years, when the Planning Board approved WCI's final development plan by amending regulations to permit residential uses on property previously restricted primarily for commercial development.

"Such approval ... was and is ultra vires," or illegal, by going beyond the board's jurisdiction, E. Alexander Adams declares in his appeal.

Then, this:
The appeal, though, raises at least two fundamental questions. First, is the appeal legal since it was filed well beyond the 30-day limitation imposed by county regulations? And, if the zoning for WCI's tower is unlawful, what does than mean for the nearby luxury Lakeside at Town Center, a condominium project constructed and occupied under the same zoning and where two of Adams' clients reside?

More on the HFStival: While the music from Wine in the Woods yesterday reverberated across Rt. 29 into the peaceful serenity of my backyard, nobody cares about this event or the pain I felt having to listen to music I didn't like. A concert geared to young people, however, is still causing serious concern among some local residents, many of whom seem to think a horde of Deadheads will be rolling into town next week, poised to turn Town Center into a massive, stinky Shakedown Street, which is simply, regrettably not the case. Read the story if you want my diplomatic take on the concert.

More Politics, Shmolitics: Democratic governor hopefuls non-committal; Teachers endorse mostly Democrats; and Sheriff's race heating up.


Anonymous said...

Having been at 800+ concerts at Merriweather, here are my expectations (none cast in stone, just guesses) for HFStival -

1. There will be more issues at the actual 2-day event than at previous 2-day Grateful Dead concerts here. The contributing factors to more issues will be: higher attendance, a different audience mindset, the diversity of the attendees, and the infrequency of the event.

Obviously with thousands more (30+%?) allowed to attend HFStival than a Grateful Dead concert, it would make sense that there would be more issues.

Grateful Dead concert attendees were, overall (not completely, but overall), very laid back, basically emulating the performers they went to see. I believe the biggest exception to this was when more attendees showed up to attend than were allowed in. In contrast, some of HFStival's performers are quite a bit less laid back, appealing to a less laid back audience. So, I expect a small, but greater percentage of their fans will have some issues.

Grateful Dead fans were also surrounded by like-minded people, a situation in which misunderstandings, dislikes, and one attendee's behavior offending another attendee was less likely to occur. HFStival (admittedly, I've never been to one, but have heard from many friends that they are great) draws a much more diverse audience which, unfortunately, does afford the opportunity for more misunderstandings, etc.

Grateful Dead shows were often attended by people who had attended many previous Dead shows, often several shows during the same year. So, for these people, the show was far less a novelty and they provided a good base of good attendee attitude. Their congenial and responsible attitudes rubbed off quickly on others. HFStival concerts only occur once a year. I assume, from my friends' comments, that many do attend year after year, but the base of attendees is neither as experienced or as in recent practice as Grateful Dead attendees.

It sounds like additional measures are already planned to accommodate the event's potential for issues. I hope the issues don't arise, but that's my impression.

2. Traffic will be worse than a Grateful Dead weekend. A lot of Grateful Dead fans did carpool. (I was gently rear-ended by a VW bug carrying 4 attendees leaving one concert.) Many Grateful Dead fans also walked to the concert - I remember meeting one attendee who had walked from Georgia. Go figure. 29, 175, Little Patuxent, Broken Land, the Mall - if you're planning on using them that weekend, have a plan B, and maybe C, ready.

3. Greater-Columbia area businesses (restaurants, hotels, shops) will get a whole lot of business as a result of HFStival.

4. There will be a mess to clean up beyond the event's grounds. If this occurs, hopefully, Merriweather will be a good neighbor and extend their exemplary-post-event Merriweather clean up to the affected environs.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I am pretty sure that there will not be a bunch of stoned out hippies walking around in Columbia and bathing in the lake...
I'd like the previous blogger to clarify what he/she means by "diverse" audience? I personally think they people are so very concerned because an African American rapper is headlining the show...

Hayduke said...

I don't think the first comment implied anything about Kanye West and his fans when he used the term "diverse." The fact is the HFStival is a much more diverse concert than any Dead show. But you're right: Stoned hippies sleeping in tents should not be a concern.

That said, he does raise some valid points, and is thus far the only person I've seen to offer a reasonable, thoughtful analysis of the concert and its likely impact on our fair city. My quick and dirty response is that we're probably much better prepared for this concert than we ever were for a Grateful Dead show. However, having been to a few HFStivals and other massive concerts that attracted a significantly more diverse group of attendees than this one, I think fears about incidences in the audience may be overblown. Also, though the number of issues for this show may be larger, the rate might be equal to or less than a Dead show, accounting for the additional capacity.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 here -
thanks for the kudos, hayduke. Anon #2, please don't try to read anything more into my use of the word diverse. Is there a better term I should have used to describe the event's lineup?

Personally, if I do attend this event, I'd probably want to catch Joan Jett, Kanye West, and Matisyahu (or however his name is spelled). Having heard the performers I have there, it would be hard not to appreciate a wide range of music. Among the many good memories I've gathered there - seeing Doug Henning's tigers do their business on the lawn (you'd think a magician could make that disappear), Sade's smooth melodies, the Blues Brothers "borrowing" a golf cart and going for a joyride, Annie Lennox warming up, Steve Martin getting chased offstage by a giant moth, the *entire* lawn (thousands) at Reggae Sunsplash doing the Electric Slide, events where the entire audience actually sat silent listening to the performance, others where you couldn't hear yourself think, and way too many incredible performances to list. (My best memories there are off-topic and there they'll stay.)

Relative to how prepared we are, I think considerable preparation has gone into this event and, obviously, Merriweather has endured years of two- and three-night Jimmy Buffett and Grateful Dead sold-out shows. On the other hand, the festival's website touts previous hfstival's drawing 65,000-90,000. Will more show up than the 27,000 accommodation? Any idea how many tickets have been sold thus far?

It might also be nice to get some feedback regarding any expected standout performances not being familiar with too many of the non-headline bands.